Good and Old, Get rid of Old Guard— Letters for April 6, 2022

Siuslaw News Letters to the Editor

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submis­sions on these and other topics are al­ways welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Good and Old

Mr. Michael Allen got two things right when he decried the endorse­ment of Rob Ward for a city council position. Both Mr. Ward and Mr. Bill Meyer are “good” and “old.” As a 72-year-old man, I would rather call myself “older,” rather than “old.” Nevertheless, the two gentlemen are the epitome of service to their com­munities.

I know of Rob Ward and his many years of service to his community. I do not know him as a friend or ac­quaintance. And I do apologize Rob, if I don’t remember anything other than that. But, his many years of ser­vice certainly speaks volumes.

I do know Bill Meyer. I have col­laborated with him as a general con­tractor and construction consultant. I did some consulting for the Port of Siuslaw while he has been a commis­sioner. We are also active members in the Rotary Club of Florence. He is exactly as he says he is.

I am referring to the article on the front page of the Siuslaw News on March 30, “Florence’s New Dynam­ic Duo.” Read it carefully. I cannot argue with anything he says in that article. Simply outstanding!

I must say, when I read Mr. Allen’s Letter to the Editor titled, “Good Old Boys Reign In Florence,” … Mr. Allen certainly is entitled to his opinion. And he can talk as long and as loud as he wants.

In the article, Mr. Ward said, “It is OK to attack a position, but it is not OK to attack a person.”

Reading Mr. Allen’s words brought to mind a little boy who doesn’t get his way and throws a tantrum. He has yet to get a consensus of the city council, nor a nod from Mayor Joe Henry to name the City of Florence some kind of climate change city so we can all feel good about it. In fact, sir, as your own numbers show with the support­ers you have, a few hundred, more than 90% of Florence voters just don’t care about the naming.

Now, let us talk about “good old boys.

For decades, many good old boys and good old girls of this town have done a lot of tremendous things for this community. They serve on boards, councils, commissions and service organizations. All are voted in by their friends, constituents and fellow voters in the community. And they receive no pay for their time and efforts.

Some serve for personal reasons, all serve for the betterment of their com­munity. Not all are or have been par­ticularly good or effective. But they still try, and they still care. Most im­portantly, they have been voted in by the people they serve. Voted in. That means the majority of voters want them in place to do what is right for their community.

Majority is the key word here. More people voted for Mr. Henry and Mr. Meyer than their opponents. Mr. Henry and Mr. Meyer both won. The others, lost.

That’s life.

So, for you to decry the “good old boys,” you are trashing the majority vote of the citizens of Florence, and in the case of a port commissioner, the citizens of the port. Apparently, their votes mean they wanted someone in office that would glad hand each oth­er, pat each other on the backs and follow lock step.

Shame on you, sir. If you don’t like the results, you can move out of town, offer yourself up for mayor or commissioner, or stage a coup. And, of course, continue to offer your opin­ion.

And why shouldn’t Mr. Henry rec­ommend a person who he felt could “continue on with the conservative political approach that he support­ed?” That is his right to do so.

Mr. Henry’s constituents would prefer that as well, wouldn’t they? They voted him in to office. Has the city gone to hell in a hand basket since he has been in office? I don’t think so.

I do look at the photos of the city council. I see a great bunch of volun­teers, who have respect for one anoth­er, have experience and leadership, are diverse in their opinions and care about the direction of Florence and the community. I do not see your pic­ture.

— Dana Rodet Westlake

Get Rid of Good Old Boys

In the March 30th publication of the Siuslaw News, Michael Allen wrote, “Good Old Boys Reign in Florence.”

I have lived in Florence for the past 21 years and had my ups and downs with past mayors, but have never ex­perienced anyone like our present mayor. Mr. Allen was spot on about Joe Henry and his divisive agenda for the past four years.

Now Joe is wanting to continue it with his chosen replacement for mayor, Mr. Rob Ward. It is definitely time to get rid of the good old boys and girls in our city government and get back to normal and responsible government.

— Win Jolley Florence

Good Old Boys are a “Good” Thing

Some liberal writers in Florence are trying to tarnish the character of cer­tain public servants by labeling them with the title, “The Good Old Boys.” However, both writers of the March 30 Guest Viewpoint and the April 2 Letter to the Editor failed to mention anything bad that Rob Ward, Bill Meyer or Joe Henry had done. To the contrary, the City of Florence and the Port of Siuslaw have never been in better shape. Budgets are balanced, new ideas have sustained a new look for Florence and increased revenue for the port. Plus, the “housing” issue plaguing Florence is being addressed with a number of new housing devel­opments.

But, there was no magic wand. Step by painstaking step, involving lots of cooperation, negotiation, ideas and changes was required. “Experience” is what allowed them to be success­ful. Experience working for the citi­zenry of Florence, with city staff and with each other was the magic.

These men are being bashed in order to bully people into thinking that new, young, diverse public office holders are the only ones that should be leading Florence. It is almost as if they want to prepare the way for the upcoming city council election by making it OK to offer inexperienced alternatives with no track records. You see, they have to tear down the opposition.

Not to mention that by using the idiom from the South of “good old boys,” they also conveniently brand­ed them as “racist.” These are the kinds of tactics designed to drive us apart and take sides instead of using common sense.

I don’t want to take the risk. I’ll take the “good.”

— Sherry Harvey—Florence